Quote of the evening, Hope and Change Edition

March 31, 2012

From Abe Greenwald:

There are all sorts of ways to have a bad political week, and most don’t involve secretly colluding with the Kremlin and watching your signature policy initiative deliquesce at the Supreme Court.

“Deliquesce.” Abe’s obviously a H.P. Lovecraft fan. We approve.


March 31, 2012

Ramirez is my favorite cartoonist these days. Always spot-on.

International Liberty

I’ve repeatedly said that Michael Ramirez is a good political cartoonist (see here, hereherehere, here, and here), and he’s proved his worth in this cartoon that cleverly mocks the cavalier attitude that statists have about America’s founding principles.

And here are two more Ramirez cartoons, including one that also uses the theme of Obama vs the Founding Fathers.

Finally, for those who want some analysis of why schemes like Obamacare are inconsistent with the Constitution, here’s some good analysis by Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Philip Klein and Damon Root, and yours truly.

View original post


No Haley investigation, or, South Carolina politics stink

March 31, 2012

A couple of days ago, I wrote about allegations that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley would soon be indicted on federal tax charges. I also speculated at length that the source was cheap, dirty, Chicago-style politics originating at the White House.

I’m happy to say I was wrong on both counts. First, from The Daily Caller:

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she’s being smeared once again by another blogger posting “lies” and spreading “trash” about her online.

“Sorry fellas,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page Thursday. “I’m not going anywhere no matter how many lies you put on a blog.”

Haley’s comments are in response to a report by The Palmetto Public Record, a South Carolina political blog, that she could be indicted in a federal investigation soon. She has denounced the post as totally false.

The blog said she could be indicted in federal court over the finances of the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina, a worship center her family is involved with, “as early as this week.”

(…)

In an interview with TheDC on Friday, Tim Pearson, Haley’s chief of staff, elaborated by saying that the indictment rumors can’t be true because federal authorities haven’t contacted Haley about an investigation. He also told TheDC that Haley has not received any sort of target letter that would be typical of such a federal investigation.

“No one has asked to sit down with her and interview her,” Pearson continued. “There’s been no contact because the investigation doesn’t exist. You can’t have an indictment without an investigation. So all of this stuff is just totally false.”

He also added that federal authorities have not contacted Haley’s parents, either.

In the interview with a South Carolina newspaper, Haley said she had never done any accounting work for the Sikh center, which would kind of make tying her to accounting fraud a bit difficult.

More from ABC:

ABC News has learned that the Internal Revenue Service never conducted an investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s involvement in a Sikh temple’s finances.  Nanette Downing, Director of EO Examinations, stated in the letter, “…we did not conduct an examination for the above period (tax year ended 2009)”.

Eric Hill, a program manager at the IRS, said in a separate letter to Haley’s chief of staff Tim Pearson that “we determined an examination was not warranted at that time.

Click through to the article to see an interview with Haley.

In other words, this is just another example of the gutter that is South Carolina Republican politics and an old-boys’ network that cannot tolerate an outsider breaking in.

As to the other point that I was apparently wrong about, that the IRS investigation was something cooked up by the Obama administration to derail Haley’s chances at national politics? Guess what? I don’t regret a word.

While I do regret contributing in any small way to the impression that Haley might be corrupt, I stand by my low opinion of the low character of those running the government in DC right now. Had there been a federal investigation, and given the deep influence of the “Chicago Way” on the president and his advisers, the assumption of a political hit-job would have been perfectly reasonable.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rule 5 Friday, National Cleavage Day edition

March 30, 2012

Let it never be said that we at Public Secrets Global HQ failed to honor an important occasion:

The model is Jordan Carver, an America-loving model who’s been featured here before. We’re happy to make her the Public Secrets spokesmodel for this significant event.

Background: I logged into Twitter this morning to find all sorts of posts (1) about #NationalCleavageDay and many women I follow (2) using cleavage shots for their avatars. Since I’m sure no one would want to see my cleavage, I figured this was the best way to play along.

You’re welcome.

PS: Rule 5 explained.

Footnotes:
(1) I just can’t bring myself to say “tweets” or “I tweeted.”
(2) No, not in a creepy stalker sense. “Following” is how you subscribe to people’s tweets posts. Really, what kind of person do you think I am?


(Video) Operation Hot Mic!

March 30, 2012

I was wondering when someone would make an ad about Obama’s offer of flexibility to the Russians, and now I have my answer:

Brilliant!!

via the geniuses at American Crossroads and Adam S. Baldwin.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


So that’s why Rubio endorsed Romney

March 30, 2012

More fallout from Obama’s “Open-Mic Moment” in Korea with Russian President Medvedev:

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Sen. Rubio revealed that President Obama’s recent “open mic” gaffe with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sparked his endorsement of Mitt Romney for president Wednesday night.

“It’s been weighing on my mind all week,” he said.

“I’ve never thought about this as a political calculation,” Rubio said of his endorsement. “I’m just sitting back here and watching a president that just got back from overseas — where he told the Russian president to work with him and give him space so he can be more flexible if he gets re-elected.”

“The stakes are so high. We’re not running against John F. Kennedy here,” he said.

“We have to win this election in November. We have to!” he averred. “If we don’t win this election in November — and we get four more years of Barack Obama — I don’t know what that means … But I know it ain’t good.”

Not that Marco Rubio’s endorsement will mean that much in the long run; personally, I’m skeptical of the value of endorsements. But gaffes, like elections, do have consequences. In the last week, we’ve seen more and more conservatives endorsing Romney, even if halfheartedly, as Rubio does in this interview. I’ve no proof of this, but I have to wonder if other prominent Republicans saw that tape of a supplicant Obama begging for “space” and promising to be “more flexible” after his reelection, and had their jaws hit the floor. Obama may well have helped create unity in a contentious, often bitter Republican primary.

Like the Senator from Florida said, “We have to win this election in November. We have to!”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


TR forecasts the “Arab Spring”

March 30, 2012

From a letter to a friend written in 1911, after the former-president had visited Cairo and Khartoum:

The real strength of the Nationalist movement in Egypt, however, lay not with these Levantines of the café  but with the mass of practically unchanged bigoted Moslems to whom the movement meant driving out the foreigner, plundering and slaying the local Christian, and a return to all the violence and corruption which festered under the old-style Moslem rule, whether Asiatic or African.

Very foresightful, our 26th president. He and Churchill would have agreed.

via Andrew Bostom


Far be it from me to question Justice Breyer’s competence

March 29, 2012

But I get the impression he doesn’t do his research:

I was listening to the tape-delayed Obamacare oral arguments in the car Tuesday when I first heard Justice Breyer’s Commerce Clause diatribe, and I meant to post something when I got home. But after making dinner and putting the kids to bed, I forgot.

Until today, that is, when I read Jeffrey Anderson’s account of “Breyer’s Missteps.” I think Jeffrey is far too generous to Breyer. Here is a fuller transcript of Breyer’s outburst…

(…)

Breyer alludes to four Supreme Court cases. And he manages to botch the key facts of the case in every single one of them. Let’s start at the top:

“That’s the national bank, which was created out of nothing to create other commerce out of nothing.”

This is a reference to McCulloch v. Maryland, in which the Court upheld Congress’ ability to create the Second Bank of the United States. But, as Paul Clement pointed out in oral argument, Chief Justice John Marshall found that Congress’ power to create the bank came from the Necessary and Proper Clause, not the Commerce Clause as Breyer suggests. Furthermore, Congress did not compel individuals to deposit money in the bank, only that Congress could create it in order to better manage its financial affairs.

Be sure to read the rest. If that’s the quality of argument coming from the progressive side of the bench, the ObamaCare law is not long for this world.


A Kinsleyan gaffe is where a politician accidentally tells the truth

March 29, 2012

And Joe Biden, bless his heart, just did it again. He admits the administration’s goal is a global minimum tax.

Now why would the Obama administration want this? Simple. With a minimum tax, revenue-greedy governments would not have to fear tax competition from jurisdictions with lower rates, thus eliminating any pressure for them to control wasteful spending and lower rates to attract businesses and the jobs they create, nor would they have to fear businesses skedaddling for more favorable climes.

You can see how this would be much more appealing to progressive statists than the alternative: lowering rates and giving up the control they give to government officials.

Interestingly, while the administration had rejected the idea of a global taxing power (Why give anyone else a cut of the loot?), Biden’s statement seems to say they’d be open to something along the lines of the OECD’s proposal for “tax harmonization,” essentially a “tax cartel” that fixes the market at the expense of private companies and individuals.

Good thing Joe is here to make sure we know the truth.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Governor Nikki Haley facing indictment?

March 29, 2012

There’s some disturbing news out of South Carolina today: rumors that Governor Nikki Haley, considered a rising star in the Republican Party and a possible vice-presidential nominee, may be facing indictment for tax fraud charges:

A highly ranked federal official has also privately confirmed rumblings of an investigation and possible indictment of the governor, though the official was not aware of the specific timeframe.

Yesterday, Palmetto Public Record exclusively reported that the Internal Revenue Service has been investigating since March of 2011 the Sikh worship center run by Gov. Haley’s father. At least five lawsuits have been filed against the Sikh Society of South Carolina since 2010, alleging that the group bilked contractors out of nearly $130,000 for the construction of a new temple.

The article also points out that Haley was the bookkeeper for the temple until sometime in 2003, and the investigation is centering on what happened to the money she was supposed to be tracking.

I have no comment on the case, itself; after all, we know almost no facts. The Palmetto Public Record promises a more detailed investigative article later.

But, the potential politics of this are very interesting and, well, some could easily “question the timing.”

Look at the background: Haley came out of nowhere as an obscure state representative whose main issue was government transparency to win first the Republican nomination and then the general election in 2010. She had won the endorsements of Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, the latter of which provided a rocket-like boost to her campaign. She was also the victim of a savage smear campaign (accusations of an affair, among other things) by her Republican rivals that garnered her great sympathy around the country. (In fact, the antics of some factions of the SC Republican Party had the rest of the nation asking “What’s wrong with you people?”)

Since her election, Haley’s star within South Carolina seems to have dimmed somewhat, (1) and I know some conservatives nationally were letdown by her endorsement of Mitt Romney. But, still, she remains a popular figure with many and is thought of as a possible running-mate for Governor Romney.

And here’s where my cynicism-alarm starts going off.

MSM propaganda and the advantages of incumbency aside, Barack Obama has a tough road to reelection. And he does have a history of using “hardball means” to knock opponents out of contention. Ask all those he got disqualified from the ballot during his state senate run in Illinois, including his mentor, Alice Palmer. And ask yourself (or maybe David Axelrod) how Jack Ryan’s supposedly sealed divorce records got released during the 2004 US senate race, derailing his campaign and leaving Obama to face… Alan Keyes.

If that’s dismissible as ancient history, consider recent years in which Obama allies have gone after his vocal opponents: the campaign in Alaska against Sarah Palin in 2009, then thought to be his likely rival in 2012, leading her to resign the governor’s office (I’m sure this had at least moral support from Camp Obama); the recent coordinated-by-MMFA campaign to silence Rush Limbaugh (with Palin (again) and Sean Hannity in the crosshairs); or the on-and-off White House war on FOX News in general.

“But that’s different,” you say. “Those all were just dirty politics; this is a possible criminal matter.” Well, it’s not as if presidents haven’t abused the powers of the IRS in the past, and Obama has brought the subject up before

So, doesn’t it seem just a bit convenient that, just as Romney starts to look like he really is going to be the nominee, one of his likely VP picks suddenly faces potential legal troubles? Possibly take a card out of his deck (2), maybe even stain him a bit with her troubles? Keep in mind, Obama earned his chops in the fetid swamp of Illinois politics, the state which Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin called the “Land of Coincidence.” (See also)

Well, maybe there really is a case against Governor Haley. Maybe she was doing something hinky with the books and should be prosecuted. Maybe I should be wearing a tinfoil hat. Maybe this is all another in a long line of Obama-related coincidences.

Maybe. But I question the timing.

via JCinQC

Footnote:
(1)  While I don’t follow the state’s politics much, I’ve had the impression some who supported her are disappointed. Can any SCans reading this confirm or deny this?
(2) I mean, would you want Biden debating someone as telegenic and, well, intelligent as Haley?

Afterthought, 3/30/12: Something else for the cynical — Haley was a loud voice criticizing the NLRB for its role in teh controversy over Boeing’s decision to build a new plant in right-to-work South Carolina. A bit of payback? (via)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Attention! The US Economy closes for business in 2027! Please make your final selections…

March 28, 2012

In this latest installment of Firewall, Bill Whittle highlights an amazing exchange between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the tax-cheating nitwit who runs our Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner. In it, Ryan points out that spiraling debt means the US economy according to the administration’s own numbers will cease to operate around 2027. Geithner agrees — and then admits there is no plan to deal with the problem:

Scary, isn’t it? And infuriating; the administration knows full-well that its policies will lead to a Greece-like fiscal meltdown, and yet they act as unconcerned as the grasshopper in the face of approaching winter.

Except in this case, the Democratic grasshoppers are endangering all our futures, not just their own.

As Whittle points out (and expounds on at greater length in this video. Do watch.), the problem is entitlement spending. We have enough revenue to pay for all the functions of government from the military to the post office, but the burgeoning costs of entitlements are forcing us to spend more and more and borrow more and more. At this time, we borrow just over forty cents of every dollar the federal government spends. That money has to be paid back with interest, and that interest will go up as our credit gets further downgraded. (Which, on the current path, is almost inevitable.) And that’s just what we’re borrowing now; as time goes on and entitlement spending increases thanks to an aging population and the costs of ObamaCare, there will be a need to borrow even greater amounts as a percentage of total spending, until one day our creditors wake up and realize we’ll never be able to meet our payments, and so stop lending us any more.

At which point the entitlement system collapses, our economy shuts down, and we come to the end of that downward spiral only to find ourselves not in a paradise of Unicorns and lollipops, but on the burning streets of Athens.

Forget 2012. Think 2027.

Now, if I were a cynic, I’d say that’s the plan in the back of the progressives’ minds: “reforms” that only seem to solve the problem, but actually set up greater crises that will eventually have the public demanding “progressive” solutions — greater government intervention and direction of the economy, with higher taxes to pay for it all. It’s Marxist philosopher Andre Gorz‘s concept of “non-reformist reforms.”

But… nah. I couldn’t be that much of a cynic, could I?

Yes. I. can.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. While Whittle is, by his own description, running around with his hair on fire screaming warnings (and justly so), we have choices. Republicans have proposed three alternative budgets in recent weeks, any one of which will solve our entitlement crisis, restrain spending (the root of the problem), and emphasize pro-growth policies that will allow us to eventually balance the budget, pay off our debts, and prosper.

But, let’s be honest. That will only happen if We The People do what it takes this November to make it happen: defeat Barack Obama, take the Senate, and hold the House. The Democrats must be crushed. (1)

Otherwise 2012 may be the final bell before 2027.

RELATED: If you want to see “non-reformist reformism” in action, have a look at Steven Den Beste’s essay on Obama’s preferred outcome in the ObamaCare case now before the Supreme Court.

Footnote:
(1) In a peaceful, electoral manner, of course. Just in case some Lefty was about to start hyperventilating about “violent rhetoric.” They’re so excitable.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


More about the Obama-Medvedev open-mic moment

March 27, 2012

Yesterday, while writing about the president’s inadvertent moment of transparency during his talks with Russian President Medvedev, in which Obama offered that he could be more flexible regarding missile defense after his reelection, I wondered the following:

Or maybe it’s the interests of others? This should make all those former possessions of the Soviet empire feel real secure.

Turns out we didn’t have to wait long to find out the truth in that. A headline in a major Polish tabloid read (translated)

“Were they trading Poland? Puzzling Obama talk with Medvedev about the missile shield.”

You can see the original at Buzzfeed, via Hot Air.

Poland has an unfortunate history of being the meat on the carving board whenever other great powers deal with Russia; Obama’s 2009 sellout over missile defense was only the most recent example. Now with Obama asking for “space” so he can be more flexible later, I don’t blame the Poles nor anyone else in Russia’s “near abroad” for being nervous. I’d be looking for a target on my back, too.

Meanwhile, with yesterday’s “nothing to see here, move along” statements apparently not convincing many people, Obama himself stepped before the cameras (this time knowing the mic was on) to insist he wasn’t hiding anything:

A defensive President Obama said Tuesday he wasn’t guilty of “hiding the ball” when an open microphone caught him pleading with the president of Russia to delay missile shield talks until after this year’s elections.

“The only way I get this stuff done is If I’m consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I’ve got bipartisan support and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations,” Mr. Obama told reporters at a nuclear security summit here. “This is not a matter of hiding the ball.”

(…)

“What I said yesterday … is something that I think everyone in this room understands,” the president said. “Arms control is extraordinarily complex, very technical, and the only way it gets done is if you can consult and build a strong understanding, both between countries and within countries.”

Shorter Obama: “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying ears?”

Like I wrote yesterday, I understand political difficulties in an election year. But consulting Congress and the Pentagon isn’t what Obama was talking about in his tete-a-tete with Medvedev. He was specifically asking for “space” with the promise that he himself could be more flexible next year regarding Kremlin demands, when he would no longer be accountable to the voters. It wasn’t a simple “let’s wait until next year when US politics are calmer to talk about these things,” it was a plea for Russian help for Obama’s reelection effort. As Andrew Malcom of IBD put it, it was “backstage conniving.”

And lest anyone say this is just Right-wing panic over nothing, consider the president’s record with Russia: the embarrassing reset moment; the horrible deal in 2010 in the latest START treaty; the appeasement over missile defense in 2009 at the cost of betraying allies; and the flaccid reaction to Russian arms sales to Hugo Chavez, an avowed American enemy; the willingness to give up British nuclear secrets. I’m sure there are other moments of Smart Power that illustrate the same point: far from having a clear vision of America’s national interests, Obama is intellectually trapped in an outdated worldview that sees a dominant United States as part of the problem, not the best hope for a peaceful, prosperous world. His foreign policy is dangerous because it is dangerously naive.

That’s why critics don’t trust his whispered sidebar conversations with our traditional enemies: a leftist ideology married to alarming naivete is a recipe for disaster.

And that’s one big reason he has to go in November.

UPDATE: It figures. Democrats are just fine with Obama’s whispered words and approvingly cite President Medvedev (!) to bash Mitt Romney.  But they’ll scream bloody murder when we question their patriotism because of it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And just what does President Obama need “space” for?

March 26, 2012

"This thing hates me."

Oh, those wacky open-mic moments.

In South Korea on an official visit, the President was coming out of a meeting with Putin’s Chew-Toy Russian President Dmitri Medvedev for a joint press availability and —once again— didn’t realize that the funny thing with wires might actually be on.

Thus giving us this moment of presidential “D’oh!”:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

ABC’s Jake Tapper (1) relayed this White House attempt to pull the presidential foot out of the presidential mouth:

A senior administration official tells ABC News: “this is a political year in which the Russians just had an election, we’re about to have a presidential and congressional elections — this is not the kind of year in which we’re going to resolve incredibly complicated issue like this. So there’s an advantage to pulling back and letting the technical experts work on this as the president has been saying.”

As far as it goes, I agree with the “senior administration official’s” statement; major initiatives are hard to pull off in an election year, because anything you do is grist for your opponent’s mill, a hammer with which he can beat on you endlessly. It’s a truism of American politics and one reason why presidents don’t often get much accomplished in the final year of their first term.

But the official’s explanation also begs the question: Just what does President Obama need the space for? Just what was he discussing regarding missile defense? He’s already scaled back our promising program severely. What more was he discussing with the Russians that would be too hot for public consumption in an election year?

And why is he even discussing missile defense with Russia? Our program is aimed at one or a few missiles lobbed by rogue states, such as North Korea. Even if funded to the max, our missile defenses would be nowhere near capable of dealing with an arsenal the size of Russia’s. Nor is Russia even a credible threat to launch a first strike; the Cold War ended a long time ago, and Russia is in deep decline as a world power. This seems to be another example of Obama’s obsession with the strategic issues of the 1980s, when he was in college, the halcyon days of the nuclear freeze movement and arms-control agreements.

Oh, and just what does he mean by “all these issues?” What else needs to be put off until after his (God help us) reelection? What other of our interests is he willing to make a deal on?

Or maybe it’s the interests of others? This should make all those former possessions of the Soviet empire feel real secure.

William Jacobson is right: this moment of unintended transparency shows Obama will feel free to do whatever he wants if reelected. Remember, this is the man who wished he could “work his way around Congress.”  Unfettered by the need for reelection and with the broad powers the presidency has in foreign affairs, he may well get his wish — to the nation’s detriment.

Let this serve as a reminder that, no matter how unsatisfying the Republican candidates may be, the overriding goal is to defeat Obama in November.

And God bless open mics.

RELATED READING: If you want to understand the “strategic vision” of the liberal internationalists now running our foreign affairs, start with Krauthammer’s “Decline is a Choice.”

LINKS: Ed at Hot Air thinks Obama has promised a total cave-in on missile defense. Pirate’s Cove is “grateful.” Joel Pollak calls it a promise of surrender. Fausta asks a very good question.

UPDATE: The head of the House Armed Services Committee wants answers.

via Power Line

Footnote:
(1) Genuinely one of the best MSM reporters covering the White House.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sunday Book Review: The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents from Wilson to Obama

March 25, 2012

How do we evaluate our presidents? What criteria do we use to say which are great and which are bad? If you’ve grown up in the postwar American school system, that question has been answered for you. The great presidents (1) are those who were “leaders,” who saw the Constitution as a living document that could be reinterpreted to meet “the needs of the times, and who chafed at the built-in constitutional limitations on government’s power, which kept the president from enacting “needed” reforms. Bad or weak presidents were those who respected the constitutional limits and didn’t follow an interventionist domestic policy. Thus, FDR was “great,” while Calvin Coolidge was “bad.”

But to stop there is to stay within the paradigm of the liberal-progressive historiography that’s dominated in our classrooms for the last half-century or so. Historian Steven Hayward, in his “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents from Wilson to Obama,” uses another standard: how well the president in question met the requirements of his oath of office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

With that as his starting point, Hayward looks at the conception of the presidency held by the Founders and the 19th-century presidents through McKinley (2): that the president is the Chief magistrate of the nation, there to execute the laws, defend the Constitution, and lead the military in time of war. He was not intended to be a leader or interpreter of the national will; that job was given to Congress as the elected center of our national life. Largely, they met that goal, though I would argue that Andrew Jackson, a charismatic man who often claimed to speak for the nation as a whole, previewed his 20th-century successors.

The key chapter is the next, wherein Hayward examines how Woodrow Wilson, who thought the Constitution was obsolete and held separation of powers in contempt, changed the role of the presidency to that of a “Leader” who interpreted the national will and took the nation where the currents of History were leading it — the “progress” in “progressivism.” Wilson was heavily influenced by the German philosopher Hegel, who was also heavily influential in European authoritarian movements, such as Socialism and Fascism. (This is one of the themes discussed more fully in Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism,” which I highly recommend.) In order to get where he wanted America to go, Wilson had to somehow circumvent the limitations placed on the presidency and government overall by the Constitution, hence, as Hayward notes, Wilson’s development of the doctrine of the “living Constitution,’ something near and dear to liberals today.

With that base –the original role of the presidency and how Wilson changed it– Hayward then briefly examines the administrations of each man from Wilson to Obama. He reviews each for how they saw their role, how they dealt with challenges that arose, how they thought (if they thought) about the Constitution and the meaning of the Founding, and the significance of their Supreme Court appointments (for the “living Constitution” doctrine has turned the Supreme Court into an unending constitutional convention). At the end of each chapter, he assigns the president in question a letter grade reflecting how well he met his oath. I don’t think it’s spoiling anything to summarize the list here:

Wilson F
Harding B+
Coolidge A+
Hoover C-
FDR F
Truman C+
Eisenhower C+
Kennedy C-
LBJ F
Nixon C+
Ford C+
Carter F
Reagan A-
G. H. W. Bush B
Clinton F
G. W. Bush B+
Obama F (in progress)

I’m sure readers can spot the pattern there: presidents who exceeded their constitutional authority, who failed to meet their duties, and/or who disgrace their office fare poorly. Those who show a high regard for our founding principles score well. Most fall in-between.

Like other books in the “Politically Incorrect Guide” (PIG) series, Hayward’s book is a brief overview, not a deep, detailed work. Its intent is to introduce to the reader to another way of looking at a question, a way that sharply and often controversially (3) varies from current orthodoxy — indeed, “politically incorrect.” While reading, sidebars inform the reader of interesting facts about each president, such as Harding being the coiner of the phrase “Founding Fathers,” and point one to “Books you shouldn’t read,” because they too are politically incorrect. So, even though the PIGs give just a brief survey of a topic, the reader comes away with a good reading list for further exploration.

Hayward’s style is very easy to read: straightforward, flowing, witty, but never superficial. While I don’t agree with him wholly in some cases, or at least have some reservations (4), he makes his case well and provides ammunition to conservatives looking for intellectual and constitutional grounds on which to challenge the left-liberal paradigm.

Summary: An entertaining survey of the presidency over the last 100 years that is at the same time thought-provoking and informative. Highly recommended.

Footnotes:
(1) Some grudgingly include Reagan, even though they hate his politics, because his accomplishments just can’t be ignored.
(2) TR, one of my favorite presidents, is a transitional figure. And, I have to admit, he did go off a bit of a cliff at the end of his life with his “New Nationalism.”
(3) Don’t believe me? Try telling a committed liberal that the New Deal was an objective failure.
(4) His argument about what really caused Nixon’s fall is new to me, and I’m not wholly sold.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Happy birthday ObamaCare!

March 23, 2012

You’re now in your “terrible twos,” and, boy, are you terrible!

Anyway, even though your political father is too chickensh… er… “modest” to mark the anniversary of you, his greatest achievement, there are others who care enough to mark the occasion and sing your “praises.” In fact, some people even made videos! Let’s turn down the lights and celebrate, shall we?

The first, from your friends at the NRCC, tells us what Grandma and Grandpa can look forward to, now that you’re going to take care of them:

(h/t Moe Lane)

Er… Well… Yeah. I’m sure they meant it in the nicest way.

Meanwhile, their buddies at the NRSC look back over what you’ve accomplished in the last two years:

(h/t Hot Air)

See? You done so much for to the country, and you have so much more to look forward to!

Especially when the Republicans take over in 2013.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is a race-baiting idiot… and a liar

March 22, 2012

Would you believe...?

But then, she’s a Democratic member of Congress and Chair of the Democratic National Committee, so it isn’t really surprising. What is somewhat surprising (1), though, is that she would lie about her race-baiting in a way that’s easily falsifiable.

You see, a while back, Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) said that the Republicans, because they favor requiring ID to vote, wanted to take the nation back to the days of Jim Crow.  Then, just a day or so ago, she claimed to a crew from MRCTV that she had never said any such thing. (2)

Really. She said that.

So, not only is she either ignorant of or simply ignoring the Democrat Party’s dirty record on race; whether done deliberately or born of stupidity, she then tells a lie that is easily proven a lie. She not only spits in the faces of anyone concerned about the integrity of our elections, she denies ever doing it while wondering where the saliva you’re wiping off came from.

I feel mildly sorry for Democrats, because we had to suffer through Michael Steele, and I know what those face-palm moments feel like.  But only very mildly, because their “leaders” have done a lot of harm to the country, and that sympathy is tempered -almost quashed out of existence- by a strong desire that they keep this tool in charge through November. She’ll be a great help — to our side. As a gaffe-machine, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is  Joe Biden without the hair plugs; she’ll make the jobs of Republican communication shops very easy. And, as Allen West pointed out, she is a mean-spirited, vile harridan without any sense of honor or shame, making her continued public humiliation a patriotic duty. (3)

In fact, she’s perfect for the Democrats. Monumentally dumb and an open harpy. I wish her a long tenure in her job.

RELATED: More Democratic stupidity (but I repeat myself) from Jimmy. Allahpundit is amused. And snarky analysis from Moe Lane, who always throws the snark in for free.

Footnotes:
(1) Until one remembers how many members of Congress, on a bipartisan basis, forget about the deadly combination of handheld recorders and the Internet.
(2) My reaction on hearing the news last night.
(3) Perhaps mean-spirited and vile of me, too, but, hey, I’m just one of those people who want to bring back Jim Crow and cross burnings, you know?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Next Post

March 21, 2012

Very interesting. A real contrast in leadership styles. –PF.

A Time For Choosing

By Gary P Jackson

Reading Politico’s review of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s new book Can’t Is Not an Option I found an interesting contrast of how Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney handle things.

We all remember that Mitt Romney actually endorsed Haley weeks before Sarah Palin did, but was stuck in the basement, polling 4th in a 4-way race. Once Sarah endorsed her, it was on. Nikki shot to number 1 with a bullet!

Of course, with her new found front runner status, so came the smear machine. Haley was accused of having an affair, and being called a “slut” and a “whore.” It was pretty nasty. And it was coming from fellow Republicans.

Nikki talks about all of this in her book, and we see the difference in how Sarah Palin handled all of this, jumping right in and standing with her, and how…

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Why isn’t this man running for President?

March 21, 2012

Another bit of evidence for the argument that our A-list candidates stayed out of the nominating race this year, leaving us to field the reserves. In this video, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) makes the case for the budget offered by House Republicans yesterday.  Here’s a link to the “trailer video,” which is worth watching, but, in this video, Ryan gets to the meat of the problem: we have a choice between growth or stagnation, rise or decline, and liberty or dependence.

Ryan explained his plan in more detail in the Wall St. Journal. You can read generally favorable analysis  of it from Dan Mitchell, and a typical liberal hack job by Ezra “the Constitution’s too old to understand” Klein at the Washington Post. Still, I have to ask…

Second look at a brokered convention?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


One picture is worth a thousand words on Critical Race Theory

March 20, 2012

This is the fruit of the intellectual handiwork done  by President Obama’s Harvard mentor, Derrick Bell:

And here’s the explanation:

The nation’s premiere voting rights museum—the National Voting Rights Museum—now sits at the foot of the bridge [in Selma, Alabama]. The museum is an inadvertent monument to the civil rights movement’s degeneration. Its outlook is neatly captured in ten words that begin its timeline display of the civil rights movement. There, we find a replica of John Trumball’s iconic depiction of the signing of the Declaration of Independence with the caption, “1776. The Declaration of Independence signed by wealthy white men.”

The original civil rights giants would never have tolerated this historically false assertion. They were patriots, driven by love for their fellow countrymen and a burning desire to make America a better place for all its citizens. They repeatedly and vehemently rejected hatred. But the nasty caption captures the bitter spirit of much of the civil rights movement today and of numerous race-based activist groups around the country.

According to Bell’s Critical Race Theory, which not only the president, but several members of his administration and the Supreme Court and the media admire, the structure and philosophy of the United States is inherently, irrevocably racist. Hence, the caption to Trumball’s famous painting.

It’s hard for me to describe how offensive I find that, let alone dead wrong.

So I’ll let you discuss it.

RELATED: What is the Pacific Educational Group?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


We did the right thing

March 20, 2012

Nine years ago today, the United States invaded Iraq at the head of a coalition including Great Britain, Australia, Poland, and other nations with the goal of toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein and, perhaps, healing the poisoned tree of Arab Middle East politics by helping foster the growth of a stable democracy in the heart of the Islamic world.

Two goals born of the danger inherent in the status quo that was revealed to us one horrible morning in September, 2001.

One was brilliantly achieved: after the usual predictions from the Left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) of stalemate and a bloodbath, Coalition forces rolled over Saddam armies in a matter of weeks and liberated (1) the people of that country from one of the worst, most brutal tyrannies of the late 20th century. (For just one example) One of the enduring images in my mind from the Battle of Baghdad is this one, from Firdos Square just before Saddam’s statue was torn down:

(That’s Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch, USMC (ret), btw, who later lost an eye at the First Battle of Fallujah. He’s running for Congress against Democrat incumbent Susan Davis in California’s 53rd district. His campaign site is here. Go, now, and donate.)

The question ever since (and from the fringe Left, even before) has been “Was this the right thing to do?”

I argued then that it was and, to this day, I do.

It’s my belief that the commitment of American military force to any major combat operation (absent a direct attack on the United States) requires a convergence of the strategic and moral imperatives that have shaped American foreign policy for centuries. In Iraq, those interests came together — see, for example, Pollack’s “The Threatening Storm” (pre-war) and Feith’s “War and Decision” (post-war). See also this excellent article in Australia’s National Observer, which asked last year “Will Bush Be Vindicated?” The whole article is worth your time, but let me quote the portion about the international consensus among intelligence agencies about Iraq at that time:

Pre-war intelligence consensus

The pre-war intelligence consensus concerning Iraqi WMD extended beyond both sides of the political divide in Congress. It reached the external intelligence agencies of the world’s six major or regional powers. All of these agencies had come to similar, and mostly independent, conclusions about the presence of WMDs and Saddam’s propensity to use them.

  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) — United States.
  • Security Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) — United Kingdom.
  • Mossad — Israel.
  • Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) — Germany.
  • Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) — France.
  • Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki (SVR) — Russia.

This is the German BND’s intelligence summary:[13]

 “Iraq has resumed its nuclear program and may be capable of producing an atomic bomb in three years;

Iraq is developing its Al Samoud and Ababil 100/Al Fatah short-range rockets, which can deliver a 300kg payload 150km. Medium-range rockets capable of carrying a warhead 3,000km could be built by 2005 — far enough to reach Europe;

Iraq is capable of manufacturing solid rocket fuel;

A Delhi-based company has acted as a buyer on Iraq’s behalf. Deliveries have been made via Malaysia and Dubai. Indian companies have copied German machine tools down to the smallest detail and such equipment has been installed in numerous chemicals projects.

Since the departure of the UN inspectors, the number of Iraqi sites involved in chemicals production has increased from 20 to 80. Of that total, a quarter could be involved in weapons production.”

Regarding Britain: after it became apparent that there were no discoverable WMDs in Iraq, the British House of Commons Intelligence Services Committee (ISC) conducted a thorough investigation into the failures of British intelligence to predict accurately the true state of Iraq’s situation. It is significant that this committee and the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee concluded, along with Lord Hutton’s independent inquiry, that no undue or inappropriate pressure was brought to bear upon the Joint Intelligence Chiefs (JIC) to shape their assessments according to a particular, pre-existing policy construct. Such a finding was contrary to persistent media reports, and to the repeated claims of opponents of Tony Blair’s position.

This is a key quote from the September 2003 House of Commons ISC report on its investigation into the JIC’s Iraq Assessment:[14]

“It was clear to all that Saddam Hussein was defying the international community, ignoring UNSCRs, breaking embargoes and engaging in an extensive programme of concealment. Based on the intelligence and the JIC assessments that we have seen, we accept that there was convincing intelligence that Iraq had active chemical, biological and nuclear programmes and the capability to produce chemical and biological weapons. Iraq was also continuing to develop ballistic missiles. All these activities were prohibited under UNSCRs.”

I put it to you that no President of the United States (2) could look at the intelligence he was receiving, which was supported by other services, and not be lead to the conclusion that liberating Iraq was very much in our interests — especially so soon after the catastrophe of September 11th.

(Fair and balanced: an alternate view from the UK’s Guardian paper.)

Regardless of what happened since and the uncertainties of the future — the poorly run occupation, the incorrect early counterinsurgency strategy, the Left’s revision of history and the Democrats’ subordination of the national interests to their party’s political goals, Obama’s decision to put all our gains at risk by pulling out too soon, the very real risk of Iraqi backsliding in our absence, and the possible failure of our second goal, fostering constitutional government in the Arab Middle East — in spite of all that, I believe George W. Bush made the right choice when he gave the order to liberate Iraq.

I still do.

Footnotes:
(1) Yes, “liberated.” Setting oppressed people free. That’s exactly what we did. It’s been a specialty of the United States military since, oh, 1775. We’re really quite good at it.
(2) Okay, okay. No adult, mature, non-callow president.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)